So I read a blog someone shared on Facebook today about being single that made me shout hallelujah! The title was Being Single Isn’t a Disease, and I follow that title with an enthusiastic AMEN.
I live in the South. Down here, people marry young. Especially for women, if you aren’t married by the time you’re 24, people start to treat you like you’re afflicted with some unfortunate illness. Showering you with pity about your lack of significant other, while maintaining a safe distance just in case that man repellent you’re wearing rubs off on them.
Whenever you are around a friend or relative you don’t see everyday, you can’t have a conversation without it beginning with “you married yet?” Followed almost always with a “Oh, don’t you worry honey, you’ll find a man someday,” after which they pat you on the shoulder and scurry off to find someone else to talk to (because single people are incapable of discussing anything other than relationship status).
Then there’s the obligatory matchmaking attempts, because people–especially people you aren’t necessarily close to–feel it’s their duty to inform you about every single male they know or have ever heard of. “Oh, you’re single? My friend’s brother’s cousin is single too! He’s cross-eyed and has a missing tooth from the time he got kicked in the face by a mule, but he’s sweet. You two should meet!” Thanks, but no thanks, noble matron. I’ll take my chances with non-set-up dating.
I want to take this opportunity to shed some light on what I think about being single–because usually, the only people who view singleness as an ailment are married folks. No, I’m not married and–contrary to popular belief–no, I’m not depressed about it! Do I feel a little neglected when my married friends decide not to invite me to a get-together because they thought I might feel uncomfortable being the only single person? Yes, sometimes, because believe it or not I am capable of enjoying myself without being one-half of a couple. Just because I’m not married doesn’t mean I sit at home every night living a hopeless, dateless existence. I date, and, brace yourselves, even go out on occasion without a partner!
Do I want to marry someday? Sure! If I find the right person to spend the rest of my life with. Am I going to be sad about it if I don’t? Not really! Earlier in life I would spend some time depressed, worried about whether or not I would ever marry…then I realized. The only person I have to please is me! The only pressure I feel comes from other people’s expectations. Just because other people think I should marry, and there’s no possible way I can lead a fulfilled life unless I do, doesn’t mean it’s TRUE.
So, married people. Congrats on finding your one true love. It is not, however, your concern to worry about my marriage status. It is also not your responsibility to hook me up with someone. I will marry when and if the time and the man are right. Until that happens (and even if it doesn’t), don’t worry about me. I’m an independent adult. I’ll be fine–with or without a new last name.